Thursday, August 28, 2003

I feel like I have no time to write anymore. Getting prepared for my big day at work. I must admit, though, that I love having the license to go shopping!

My new job is a business environment. I've never worked in a business environment before. My last job was business casual, and casual on Fridays. Now I have to wear suits or really dressy clothes (whatever that means). So I went out and bought new dress pants, some button up shirts, a jacket (I already own two from old suits plus the one from my new suit), and a new pair of shoes. Once I've been there a few days, I may get more. That's pretty exciting.

I'm a little worried about childcare though. I didn't expect my husband to get placed so quickly in his student teaching position. But he starts Tuesday with me. I called the woman who watched Boogie last year, but she hasn't called me back. So I called Kinder Care today to see if they have openings and the woman said she'd call me back and never did. So we may have to enlist the help of our neighbor next week (my mother-in-law will be out of town that whole week). I know things will work out, I'm just a little stressed about it right now.

Speaking of Boogie, yesterday she had a meltdown like I've never seen. My husband called from class saying that he'd forgotten his final project on our dining room table. So I told him I'd bring it to him. Boogie had just eaten dinner so I figured she be fine in the car for about an hour. In the back of my mind, I thought about bringing her Elmo doll, the latest love of her life, but knew we had other toys in the car, so I didn't bring him.

We were almost at his school when she started asking for Elmo. I kept reaching in the back seat at red lights to give her something else to occupy her time. Which lasted about 30 seconds, and then the pleas for Elmo would resume. She was really crying at one light, and I kept telling her there was nothing I could do, when she stopped crying. I looked at her and saw that she was looking at the guy in the next car over, making funny faces at her. He was a lifesaver for about 2 minutes.

I dropped off my husband's stuff and we were on our way home. The trouble is we were still in the midst of rush-hour so things were moving very slowly. Little Boogie's pleas were getting louder, with mentions of her blanket and pacifier (we call it a chewy) as well. I was trying to be soothing, saying "We're going home. We'll get Elmo. We'll get your blanket. We'll get your chewy. We're almost home." But she kept crying louder and louder, sometimes screaming, but all the while tears were streaming down her cheeks and snot was pouring out of her nose, as she tried to get the seatbelt of her carseat off, screaming, "Down! Elmo! Babee (blanket)! Chewy!"

I was crying myself, not knowing what to do. I thought about stopping to comfort her, but I worried that I wouldn't be able to get her back in her car seat. So I kept driving. Finally about 5 minutes from home, she tired herself out. She just keep looking at her knee, running her finger back and forth across it. The most pitiful sight, which made me cry more.

As I promised, as soon as we got in the house, we found Elmo, the blanket, her chewy and cuddled together in the rocking chair for half an hour. She had her bottle and went to bed very early that night.

I know she's gotten over it, but I can still hear her pitiful cries and screams in the car. I don't want to have another one of those episodes. Hopefully, it won't happend when I leave for work next week!

Monday, August 25, 2003

I got a job! I got a job! (just picture me dancing around the house, prancing on my toes like Ed Grimley, attempting the Cabbage Patch dance, tossing a little bit of every dance in the credits for Footloose ... am I aging myself or what?)

The point is, I got a job! And a job that I'm actually excited about. It's funny how it all happened so fast.

About a month ago, I saw an ad for a public relations/communications specialist for our county's teacher's credit union. The job was responsible for implenting a public relations strategy, as well as to write and develop all of the corporate brochures, member newsletters, promotional materials, etc. My kind of job, and the best part is I wouldn't have to manage anyone (why people just out of college can't wait to manage people is beyond me ... it's definitely not fun!). So I sent in a resume and waited.

My sister-in-law used to work at this credit union and always had good things to say about it. So I called her for advice to find out when and if I should follow up. She suggested calling human resources to check the status of my resume.

I'm always worried about being too pushy, or bothering other people (that's why I love e-mail ... it can be deleted or read whenever a person has time). So I didn't call.

Last week, I realized that it had been a month, and that I could call without looking pushy. I just didn't know if the job was still open. So I left a voice mail with the HR recruiter. Half an hour later, she called me back! She said she was very impressed with my resume but was concerned because I had been in a management position before, making more money. I told her that I really was fine with not managing people, and was fine with a lower salary (although it really isn't that much lower to tell you the truth), because I wouldn't expect to make the same if I didn't have management responsiblity.

So she asked if I could come in the next day (last Wednesday) to meet her. We talked for about an hour, and then she said she liked what she'd heard so far and wanted to schedule an interview with the director of marketing (my would-be boss) for the next day. I also had to take some assessment tests to make sure I was a good fit with the company. The next day I met with the director and we talked for almost two hours. She also had me talk with the department supervisor. That went well, too.

I didn't want to feel too hopeful because of what happened with that other company who never called me back. But that afternoon, the marketing assistant called to see if I could come in the next day to meet with the girl whose team I'd be joining. We hit it off really well. Everything I'd heard about the department was exactly what I was looking for (all the good things that I missed from my previous job). She brought me back to the original HR recruiter that I met with, who said that everyone really liked me, that they were checking my references, and that I should hear something from them by late Monday (today).

At 11 today, I got the call and the job offer, with a slightly higher salary than they'd originally quoted! The offer is contingent on my criminal background check (how scary!), so I'm pretty confident in stating that I got the job. I start next Tuesday. I'm officially going back into the working world. The best thing is I get to buy some new clothes because this is a more professional environment than where I was before.

I feel so happy, and appreciate all the support I've received the past many months. The scary part is that the psychic I went to at the fair said I'd get a job in 6 weeks time, and this week is the 6th week!!

Sunday, August 24, 2003

I just had the best weekend! I feel so relaxed and pampered and ready to take on the world again.

We had a great trip out to Palm Springs. Traffic was relatively good, and we arrived by 5 p.m., just enough time to check in, get settled and head out for dinner. As we checked in, the front desk guy said, "So, you'll be staying in one of our villas." I was kind of confused because the reservationist had never said anything about a villa, and it sounded pretty expensive to me. But, since I'd never stayed there, I didn't say anything. He then mumbled something like, "Nobody tells me anything," and kind of got a little flustered. I was still a little confused, and when he gave me the paper to sign in, I checked to make sure our rate was right. It was.

So we headed out to the self-parking lot (no need to pay the $15 overnight fee for valet), and walked to our villa. Oh, my God! We were in this little building (there were about 6 of these buildings) away from the main hotel. There were four rooms in each building. When we walked into our "room," we walked right into a living room/dining room set up with a fireplace. We looked at each other and said, "Are we in the right place?" We turned right and saw a bedroom, with a huge marble bathroom with steps to a jacuzzi tub and a separate giant shower. Repeating, "No way! No way!" we walked back to where we were and turned left to another bedroom with a huge marble bathroom with steps to a jacuzzi tub and a separate giant shower! We were in a two-bedroom villa with two baths that was bigger than many people's homes, all for the price of a regular hotel room (well, actually less since the rate we paid was half the regular rate!).

But wait, there's more. I looked out of the sliding glass door and saw a jacuzzi outside in the BACKYARD! We had our own private yard and jacuzzi. We had a lawn of grass, with little boxwood hedges, a lime tree, azalea bushes and room for four lounge chairs and an umbrella table with four chairs.

The knock on the door was the bellman with our bags who told us that our personal BUTLER would be arriving soon to bring us ice. The butler showed up within minutes and explained that we had our own special number to order things like food, ice, amenities, anything we wanted.

After he left, we grabbed a couple of Heinekens from the mini-bar and sat down, wondering what the hell had happened. We didn't belong in this place. I'd checked the back of the door and while the rates are typically somewhat inflated, it said the per-night rate was $1,300 (the rate card when we checked out today said that during this time of year, their low season, the rate for the room we were in was $600)! We realized why the guy at the front desk was flustered. He thought we were some sort of celebrity, and probably just couldn't figure out who we were. But what celebrity would forego the valet parking service (or go to the local supermarket to get beer, soda, ice and water, like we did the next day? But I digress.)

As we walked toward the main hotel for dinner, I suddenly realized what had happened. When I made my reservations, the guy had asked me if I wanted a high floor or a low floor. "How many floors are there?" I had asked. "Six," he said. "Go ahead and give me a high floor." Our villa number was 602. There were only five floors in the main hotel. Since I had called an 800-number reservation line, he probably had no idea about what numbers were main hotel numbers and what was a villa. If he saw that room 602 was open, he probably just booked it, not realizing that it was a villa.

So we spent a weekend seeing how the other half lives, and it's not too shabby! We pampered ourselves with facials and massages, laid out at the pool drinking pina coladas (well, we only had one ... at $7.50 a pop, we realized we should just go back to the room and drink our store-bought Coors Light). We ate wonderful Italian food at this great family-run place that we found the last time we were in Palm Springs, and discovered a funky new place for lunch today.

I came home relaxed and excited to see little Boogie and my husband. I'm so glad my sister-in-law said, "Let's go," when I mentioned going to Palm Springs. We both needed this break, and we'll have memories that we'll be able to reminisce about for years to come. Now I'm off to go to sleep in my own cozy bed, where I may dream of my short-lived life as a celebrity!